OT: Damon Knox not returning for a 6th year

Submitted by ThadMattasagoblin on May 13th, 2016 at 5:58 PM

MSU will lose some depth at the DL position as one of their potential 6th year seniors will not be returning in 2016. Mcdowell will still be good but this should help our OL in that game. The big announcement will be whether Ed Davis will come back.



May 13th, 2016 at 6:03 PM ^

This is pretty important. State graduated 3 starting DL players this year, and two others were kicked off the team this spring. Knox would have probably started, especially since they don't have any veterans at DT.

State still has a lot of bodies and some talented players on DL, but most of them are very young. DL minus McDowell could be an issue for State next year,

Leaders And Best

May 13th, 2016 at 7:08 PM ^

MSU is graduating a couple players, and Knox potentially would have been a starter. But they are returning a potential All-American, and DL may be their deepest position as they have recruited well there the last couple years. And Knox wasn't a starter last year.

I don't think potentially losing Ed Davis will be a big deal to them either. Their LBs were solid last year, and they return almost all of them. The guy I think they quietly may need is actually Brandon Clemons. Their OL does not have much proven depth, and the way they were rotating guys this spring makes me believe they don't know what they have at OL. They lost 3 starters on OL including quite possibly the best OT in school history (without steroids).


May 13th, 2016 at 7:11 PM ^

Aren't Spartan fans always the ones claiming that recruiting means nothing, and MSU 2*'s are better than any 4* in the nation, once they have a spring practice with Coach D. 

I kid, I kid. 

But for them to be relient on RS Fr and Tr Fr is ominous, no matter the ranking. 

I mean shoot, look at us with Gary. I'd say 30% of the board thinks it's best to slowly bring Gary into the rotation, as he shouldn't just take a starting job away from an experienced player.

State will be in trouble against the IU's, ND's, OSU's. Any team that runs tempo will expose their lack of experience on the defensive front. Their returning LB's will have a ton of responsibility, and will have to cover up the mistakes made by their young DL.

Leaders And Best

May 13th, 2016 at 7:26 PM ^

May have some growing pains, but it will be easier to adjust with a disruptive player like McDowell who requires so much attention. And with the number of 4-star DL they have recruited in the last 3 years, I am guessing at least a couple of them will be players.

Leaders And Best

May 13th, 2016 at 9:10 PM ^

I think people are overrating the some of the losses here. Calhoun was a player. But Joel Heath and Lawrence Thomas were not All-Big Ten players. It's possible they may not have as much dropoff at those positions especially considering they are replacing them with 4-star players that MSU was not able to pull as frequently in the past.

Leaders And Best

May 13th, 2016 at 10:40 PM ^

These 4* players were redshirting or not on the roster last year. I'm sure people were saying the same things about Joel Heath and Lawrence Thomas 2 years ago. Heath was a lightly recruited player, and Thomas was a player MSU was moving to his 3rd position (previously LB & FB). The pool of players MSU is working with this year is potentially better based on recruiting rankings.

Leaders And Best

May 14th, 2016 at 10:50 AM ^

Thomas and Heath were both 2-year starters. It took them 2-3 years to figure it out, not four.

We don't know how they will perform, and that was part of the point I was making. The probability is better for them now than it was back then because they are working with better rated recruits along with McDowell returning. There is a chance that it will be a liability for them, but I am guessing it won't be.

Leaders And Best

May 13th, 2016 at 9:06 PM ^

On average, you are going to lose 2 contributors on the DL every year. The same thing happens every year: people tend to overrate upperclassmen and underestimate recruits and unproven underclassmen. Joel Heath and Lawrence Thomas were solid players, but they weren't All-Big Ten level players. Those kind of players are replaceable. Shilique Calhoun is a loss, but I think their backup Cooper showed some flashes last year.

The thing for me is that they have recruited well at DL; it is arguably the best position they have recruited in the last 3 years, and probability says a couple of those 4-stars will be players. I don't even think MSU is in the top 3 in terms of DL losses in the Big Ten East Division. Look at the players PSU, OSU, and Maryland are losing.

I think their OL is the bigger concern for MSU.

Leaders And Best

May 14th, 2016 at 11:05 AM ^

Lose 2 starting DL. I am not talking about players deep on the depth chart. They lost 3 starting DL, and the other 3 had very little impact, if any, on the field. And they are returning their best DL.

Damon Knox was not a starter, and it would have taken him 6 years to potentially become one. I think that says something about his talent level. MSU had a similar player a couple years ago in Tyler Hoover. Hoover as a 6th year was OK but nothing special. People are acting like Knox was some kind of stud.


May 13th, 2016 at 8:29 PM ^

If you go over to RCMB even they're admitting this is big.

MSU graduated 3 starters, and their two best returning interior lineman were kicked off the team in this past month. Knox was going to be a starter and they have no depth on the interior now. All of theirs DL contributors minus McDowell are going to be freshman, RS or true. Considering MSU has made their mark based on developing young players and letting them sit, this is going to be a new thing for them. Definitely a big deal.


May 13th, 2016 at 6:45 PM ^

"OT: Sparty DL you've never heard of not returning for 6th Year" or "I scoured the interwebs for negative Sparty info and all I found was this lousy nugget about Damon someone".


May 13th, 2016 at 6:52 PM ^

(Disclaimer: I posted this 3 weeks ago, but the thread had over 300 comments, and this got buried. I got into a good discussion with Kevin Holt regarding this topic though)

I decided to do a little more digging into the details during each players redshirt years.

Damon Knox: 2011- His first year on campus. Took the typical true freshman redshirt year, and earned scout team defensive player of the week twice during the season. No mention of injury. 2012: His RS Freshman year: He played the first 2 games of the season. Mention of injury, but no details made public. Graduated in December 2015, and is working on a graduate degree now. 2013-2015 Played role in at least 8 games in each of the 3 seasons as a RS So, RS Jr, and RS Sr. The media mentions 4 missed games in 2014 for a back injury, but since he played in 8 games that season, missing those 4 games means nothing.

Damon Knox: 6th year verdict DENIED

Ed Davis:2011: First year on campus. Took the typical true freshman redshirt year, and earned scout team player of the week twice. No mention of injury. 2012 RS Fr year: Played in all 13 games. 2013 RS So year: Played in all 14 games. 2014 RS Jr year: Started in 12 games. 2015 RS Sr year: Missed entire season with ACL injury. This injury is significant enough to warrant a 6th year, IF and only IF during his True Fr RS year, he was ALSO incapacitated with a significant injury. This does NOT appear to be the case. He is expected to graduate this Spring, and then must enroll into a graduate program. Missing only 1 year to a season ending injury is not enough to qualify for a 6th year!

Ed Davis: 6th year verdict DENIED

Brandon Clemons: 2011: First year on campus; took the typical true freshman RS year. 2012: RS Fr year: Missed "majority" of season with a foot injury. Named scout team player of the week once. 2013-2015 RS So - RS Sr years: Saw action in at least 6 games every year. Graduated in December 2015, and must enroll into graduate program. Unless he was injured his entire first year on campus (2011), then he also does not qualify for the 6th year of eligbility. 

Brandon Clemons: 6th year verdict DENIED

What's interesting is that only 1 of the 3 (Damon Knox) is currently enrolled in a graduate program. Davis isn't because he still hasn't graduated yet. Clemons could be and it not be on his bio. 

The HOPE that MSU is holding on to is the example set forth by Tyler Hoover. His situation was very different from the 3 above. Here's the breakdown:

2008 True Fr year: Granted a MEDICAL RS after missing 10 games due to a shoulder injury. Appeared in 2 games, but the Medical RS is key here. 2009 RS Fr and 2010 RS So: Played in all 13 games both seasons. 2011 RS Jr year: Only played 1 (1!) game, and missed the entire season (games AND practices) with a rib injury. 2012 RS RS Jr and 2013 RS RS Sr: Played in 8 games minimum both seasons. 

The key to Hoover getting the 6th year was two things:

1) His true Fr year was cut out by a Medical RS

2) Missed another year due to a serious injury after only playing in 1 game. 1 game is crucial here because the rule states that if you played in 2 or more games, then you are not eligible for the 6th year. All 3 that applied for the 6th year either took a Voluntary RS season healthy, or played in 2 games during a RS year.